How long have you worked in public relations? Think about how different your job was two years ago, five years ago, or in my case, 14 years ago. So much about how we do our job has changed – and continues to change. Quickly. But don’t spend too much time reflecting. It’s up to us to help our clients, customers and our own brands look forward, anticipate PR trends, and adapt and evolve accordingly.

As we close out summer and begin strategizing and budgeting for next year, keep the following top-of-mind. They’re topics and issues my colleagues and I have touched on in recent blogs – and we’re confident they’re “still hot” and shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, we see them gaining momentum.

The press release is dead – but finding new life in different forms.

The era of traditional, tedious, text-heavy press releases is over. Face it, they haven’t been particularly effective in generating quality earned media for quite some time. The press release is being redefined for today’s digital generation. They’re more visual, embedding images, graphics and videos alongside minimal copy. They’re also more interactive, allowing readers to quickly navigate from one part of the “story” to the next. Don’t give up on press releases; reinvent them.

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Video is alive – and more impactful than ever.

Some of the most effective PR campaigns, internal and external, incorporate videos. There’s good reason for that: Static graphics and copy simply aren’t enough on their own to persuade people to action. Video makes it easier for audiences to see, feel and make sense of the information you’re sharing. Plan to make video content marketing a priority.

Speaking up on divisive issues can kill brands – or make them stronger.

They’re impossible to ignore. Controversial issues like immigration, climate change and health care pervade our daily lives – as private citizens and business professionals. Historically, companies knew better than to voice their views or take sides – or worse, take action – on anything that hinted at socio-politics. Today’s times, however, almost demand it. Speaking out on meaningful issues is risky, but if you do it right, your brand reputation can be rewarded. As communications counselors, it’s our job to help navigate these issues. They’re not going away.

Take control of your communications plan. If you do the hard work now, you won’t merely be reacting to PR trends, you’ll be helping to shape them.

communications planning
For more than 15 years, Jen Zottola has helped bring clients’ stories to life – through media opportunities, digital and marketing content, executive presentations, employee communications and more. Fusing creativity with strategy, she crafts compelling, award-winning copy proven to reach and resonate with the right audiences in the most impactful ways. As editorial director, Jen collaborates with clients and account teams to provide counsel on messaging and voice, as well as writing and editing support. Her creativity isn’t reserved only for writing; Jen also gets a kick out of party- and event planning.